Global Marketing News – 10th August 2015
China deploys physical police force to censor tech companies
The Chinese government has announced plans to deploy police officers to major Chinese tech firms, where they will enforce strict censorship laws.
The government did not say which companies the police officers will be sent to, but it is expected that Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu will be among those targeted.
China’s internet censorship laws ban pornographic and other “offensive” content, including “the spreading of rumours”.
Last year, China made it a criminal offence to broadcast any defamatory content online. A perpetrator can face up to 3 years imprisonment if the information has been viewed by 5,000 people or re-posted 500 times.
The Chinese social network Weibo also recently announced that it will start removing images of women in their underwear or swimwear.
International commentators have spoken out against this latest crackdown on internet freedom by the Chinese government, with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation saying that the move will “limit free speech and exert more state control on information flows”.
The Chinese government insisted the presence of police officers in tech firms was purely to help to companies fight cybercrime, saying: “The units will be able to get a fast grasp on suspected illegal online activities, and serve and direct the websites to improve their ability to safeguard security”.
BBC Worldwide expanding into India
BBC Worldwide is expanding into India.
BBC Worldwide has partnered up with Tata Sky to launch a video-on-demand service in the country.
There will be a BBC-branded section on the Tata Sky website which will offer British television dramas on both a free-to-access and subscription basis.
It is not the only international company to have entered the Indian video-on-demand market. Amazon recently launched Amazon Prime in the country, and plans to launch Amazon Instant Video in the country later this year.
The Indian online market is growing rapidly, with research by ASSOCHAM and PWC predicting that online annual spending in the country will grow by 67% this year alone.
Just Eat sees booming global revenues
The takeaway food ordering company Just Eat has seen its global revenues increase by a staggering 54% in the last 6 months alone.
The increase is partly to do with the fact that Just Eat has expanded into several new countries in the last year, with the takeaway giant now having a presence in 15 countries across 4 continents.
Just Eat expects its growth to continue – with just 30% of takeaway orders currently taking place online, as more people use the internet to order takeaway it expects to see profits increase further.
South Africa’s black middle class same size as white middle class
The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) in South Africa has released a report on the changing demographics of the country’s middle class.
It found that the black middle class had grown to reach the same size as the white middle class for the first time.
It calculated a person’s class based on factors such as property ownership, education level, workplace seniority, internet usage and banking habits.
20% of South Africans are now middle class. Further growth of the middle class, in particular the black middle class, is unlikely in the current economic climate, however.
The IRR predicts that it will only grow when South Africa’s economy improves.
Russia to investigate Facebook and Apple’s “gay” emojis
And finally, the Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor has said it will investigate whether “gay” emojis used by the likes of Facebook and Apple break Russian law.
In 2013, Russia made the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” illegal, meaning that depicting or saying anything positive about homosexuality or homosexuals can be punished by a 50,000 Rouble fine and even imprisonment.
Emojis depicting same-sex couples are used by Apple and Facebook, making some commentators question whether this could lead to the companies’ services being banned in the country.
Mikhail Marchenko, the Russian politician who made the complaint to Roskomnadzor, said the emojis “promoted non-traditional sexual relationships, denied family values and showed disrespect for parents and other family members”.
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